On 3/13/2011 9:52 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 7:24 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru
on 13.03.2011 08:29 Jason Resch said the following:
On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 6:07 AM, Stathis
On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM, Andrew
So, 'first person indeterminacy' simply means that I
what observation I will make next?
It is not just ignorance, it is true indeterminacy. Even
have all the information you cannot know which observation
-- Stathis Papaioannou
To add to Bruno's and Stathis's point, first person indeterminacy,
even when the details of the experiment are known, is an essential
piece of the Sleeping Beauty Problem:
Do I understand correctly that first person indeterminacy means
that there is for example not zero probability for the next event.
I go along the street. Someone runs to me and injects some
sleeping drug, then she puts me into the bag, and after some
indefinite period of time I wake up in an unknown place.
Is there some other meaning that I have missed?
If you could be surreptitiously injected with a sleeping drug that
immediately caused a loss of consciousness, then there is a non-zero
probability that in your next conscious moment you will find yourself
awaking in some room. Perhaps a meteor falls from space and hits you
on the head, and the next thing you know you are in a hospital bed
awaking from a coma. Even if the probability of this happening is 1
in a trillion, there is some probability your next moment of awareness
won't be here and now but there and then. The other part of
indeterminacy arises when you awake. Are you in hospital A or
hospital B? You might be in a white windowless room, and from your
perspective and knowledge either is a valid possibility with a
non-zero probability, but once you are told, then an entire consistent
history "collapses", your neighbor heard a bang and saw fire on your
roof, he called the fire department, they found you unconscious and an
ambulance took you to hospital X, where you remained for some time
before you awoke.
These examples are not quite as interesting since they don't involve
duplication (of either yourself or your conscious state). In the
sleeping beauty problem where she is awoken on both Monday and
Tuesday, in effect her identical conscious state is duplicated across
two times, this is analagous to duplicating her conscious state in two
different times. E.g., Beauty is told she will be destroyed, then a
teleporting machine will re-create her in hospital A and hospital B,
she won't know which hospital she is in. Now consider how this is
similar to the teleporting recreating her state on Monday, then it
destroys her and on Tuesday recreates her again and destroys her.
When she emerges from the teleporting machine (whether in a different
place or a different time) she won't know which day it is, and has at
best a 50% probability of correctly guessing. Being in the same place
at two different times is no stranger than being at two different
places in the same time, we just aren't used to it because teleporting
machines do not exist.
Assuming the universe is infinitely large (as the latest theories of
cosmic inflation suggest), and assuming that there is a finite number
of states a volume of space can be in (as suggested by the holographic
principal) then your conscious state recurs an infinite number of
times, just like any finite string of digits does in Pi. You are in
different places at the same time (or different times, it doesn't
matter) and we are always at all times involved in some giant sleeping
beauty problem (or comp duplication experiment). We have no ability
to guess where we are now, or where we will be in the next moment.
Consider the possibility of an oscillatory universe, with a finite
number of possible states. As many as 50 billion years might separate
each collapse/big bang cycle, however given the finite number of
possible states, the cycles will inevitably repeat. It might be
10^10^100 collapse cycles before Earth, and you reappear; an
unimaginably large amount of time, but your next conscious moment is
just as likely to be that future self, as it is the one in this time.
If you enter a duplicator and are destroyed and then recreated 1 year
from now, or a billion years from now, it seems like no time at all,
regardless of how long it is. The same is true for being duplicated
across distances. If eternal inflation is true, you might exist
somewhere 10^10^100 meters from here, and your next conscious moment
could "leap" to that location. It is easier to see this leaping occur
intuitively if you imagine yourself destroyed in one location, but as
Bruno's steps show, this destruction is not necessary.
But there is a problem with this. In fact our world is quite
predictable. This is because we are quasi-Newtonian beings - our
actions and thoughts are associated with (infinitely?) large classes of
microscopic quantum events that are indistinguishable at our level. It
is only when a microscopic quantum event is amplified to the
quasi-classical level that "our" world splits. Of course this may
happen many times over a life-time, but then the "you" in the split off
world is not the same person - they have the same history up to some
point, but then they have different experiences and become different
persons with different thoughts and memories. The giant sleeping beauty
problem is no more than the uncertainty in predicting our future - which
we knew anyway.
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